Burbank Public Library Hosts “Screening Reality” Event About American Documentary Film

By On March 9, 2020

The Burbank Public Library holds an event on the history of documentary film in America, with a discussion between New York Film Academy Documentary Film Chair Sanora Bartels and Jon Wilkman, author of the recently published Screening Reality: How Documentary Filmmakers Reimagined America, on Wednesday evening, March 11.

“Documentary films are experiencing a ‘Golden Age,’ with more documentaries being made, screened and viewed today than ever before,” said Burbank Librarian Hubert Kozak. “Why is this? Perhaps it represents something positive, that people are more open than they ever have been to hearing the stories of others.”

Ken Burns editing “The Civil War.” Photo Courtesy Cori Wells Braun, Courier-Journal.

“Maybe those stories have  become important to figuring out their own lives in these times we live in, and there is some growing  sense that we have more in common and that we are more connected than we thought,” Kozak added.

Wilkman’s Screening Reality is the first comprehensive history of American documentary film, according to the publisher, Bloomsbury Publishing. Wilkman is himself a professional filmmaker, as well as founder and past president of the International Documentary Association.

Director/Producer George Stevens took documentary footage as he followed the U.S. Army into Berlin. His footage from concentration camps was used as evidence in the Nuremberg trials. Photo Courtesy National Archives.

“Filmmaking is central to the creative life and to the economy of Burbank,” Kozak also said. “The Library is hosting this event on the history of documentary filmmaking as part of our ongoing effort to help people understand how films are created.”

“We also hope to foster a deeper appreciation of the important role of film as a medium of expression in our culture and social life.”

Director Bruce Brown shoots a scene from the water for his 1966 film “Endless Summer.” Photo Courtesy Smithsonian Institution

Bartels and Wilkman will discuss Screening Reality and more about the genre at the Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library on Wednesday, March 11, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The Burbank Public Library is located at 300 N. Buena Vista Street in Burbank. Plenty of free parking is available on site.

Image Courtesy Burbank Public Library